Friday, July 20, 2012

Last Days in Cyprus for Some

Elders Yates and Held almost missed their flight to Athens where they spend a few days with President Freestone and travel HOME to Scotland and Denmark next Monday.

We will miss them terribly, but we are so thankful they made their flight after two years of faithful service to the Lord in the Greece Athens Mission! Now on to a successful life of college, marriage, career, family and continual service to the Lord.

Another couple of great missionaries, the Niebuhrs left this very morning at 5:30 for Italy to visit their son and his family for ten days and then on to their home in Sandy Utah.  We did so much with them and bonded like family with this great couple.

Last Sunday we had an extra large dinner with all these wonderful branch members and missionaries.  All four of the young elders are leaving us to serve elsewhere!  Why do we get so attached?  It makes it so hard to say good-bye.

Here's a first!  Elders Nicholls and Jensen had us over for lunch today.  They are very good cooks as we had a Persian meal of rice, pork, salad and water melon!  They were so kind to invite us and serve and spoil us.  They are a great companionship and we hate to see them split up, but it's all in the Lord's hands, of course.

This little princess, Paniyota, will also miss them!

Elder Jensen and Nicholls had a great idea to have these two converts, Terisita and AnnaLizel teach all four of us the Preach My Gospel lessons.  So fun!

We loved discovering the island of Cyprus with the Niebuhrs, pictured here on the Turkish side of Nicosia.

I promised Elder Christensen I wouldn't buy anything on this trip, but

I couldn't resist this nice little mime girl.  I asked her if she had ever heard of the Mormons?  She didn't even dignify my question with a blink!  Maybe I need a different approach.

 We visited a fascinating spot in Nicosia called the Freedom Monument, where Cypriot independence from British rule in 1959 is depicted. Atop the monument is "Lady Liberty" and statues of the suffering oppressed of Cyprus.  We were awe struck by the depth of character and suffering carefully chiseled into the faces of these statues.


See what I mean?  I could almost feel this man's dispare as I gazed into his eyes.  Small wonder that this is the spot that was chosen by Elder Joseph B. Whirthlin to dedicate the island of Cyprus for the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ back in 1991.

Just a few extra pictures here at the bottom.

Last days for these fine elders, Held, Greciano and Yates.

Cyprus Zone Leaders: Elders Gibbons and Yates.

Super sweet baby grand son, Leif Steven Christensen, on his daddy's chest.  This is Grant and Maren's first child so it is wonderful to get a few glimpses into his first month on earth, back in Tulsa Oklahoma! Even though it is hard to be so far away as four new grandchildren have been born, we know we are doing what the Lord would have us do at this time in our lives.  We love the Lord and WE LOVE OUR MISSION!

Of course a cat picture of the week from the internet!

                                        I believe the caption read: "Anybody lose a cat?"

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Clay in the Potter's Hands

A mission has made us feel like the Lord is working in us, helping and blessing us.  More importantly, He is molding us into beings that we were incapable of becoming on your own in the comfort of our home and life back in Oklahoma.

We got a chance to go to Paphos, to a pottery shop and watch a potter mixing his clay

and carefully molding it into a pot.

It made us realize that we are not the only ones being molded by the Master Potter.

Here are Ruta, Godwin and their baby Beatrice.  It is so wonderful to teach this little family and see the Lord working in them and witnessing their conversion process.

These great elders in our district, Gibbons, Yates, Jensen and Nicholls, are also being molded.

We visited some ancient ruins with the other senior couples, The Tombs of the Kings in Paphos.

Sisters Smith, Niebuhr and me.  Yes, it was very hot!

Our good husbands, Elders Smith, Niebuhr and Christensen.

One of the many tombs under excavation on a very hot morning in Paphos.

By the water front area of Paphos.

Elders Jensen and Gibbons helping with the dishes after a Sunday dinner and discussion.

A nice bunch of Fillapino girls from the branch with a couple of non LDS made for a fun Sunday afternoon in our flat.

We took our district on a little Preparation Day activity to Cape Grecho in the southeast corner of Cyprus.

Zone Conference on July 5th helped mold these great Danes, Elders Held, Norgaard and Jensen.

Sisters Roberts, Almeida and Niebuhr.

Our new mission president, President Freestone, came to Cyprus!  He is in the center front.  Sadly Sister Freestone was ill that day.

Elders Niebuhr and Held

Nigerian students, Godwin, Destiny and Jolly in Famagusta, face lots of trials and molding so far from any branch of the Church in Northern Cyprus--Turkish occupied side.

A Turkish lady molding pita bread in the street.  It was delicious!

One of the sweet Fillapino girls that we get to help teach, Josie, with Elders Jensen and Nicholls.

And a cute little pair of Turk side cats finish up this post.  Our life is so full of varied and wonderful experiences. It is truly hard to get them all in, but we love our mission and are grateful everyday for the Lord's gentle molding hands in our lives here in Cyprus.  Thanks for reading!